Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Deceased by Tom Piccirilli

Something is calling Jacob Maelstrom back to the isolated home of his childhood - to the scene of a living nightmare that almost cost him his life. Ten years ago his sister slaughtered their brother and parents, locked Jacob in a closet...then committed a hideous suicide. Now, as the anniversary of that dark night approaches, Jacob is drawn back to a house where the line between the living and the dead is constantly shifting.

But there's more than awful memories waiting for Jacob at the Maelstrom mansion. There are depraved secrets, evil legacies, and family ghosts that are all too real. There's the long-dead writer, whose mad fantasies continue to shape reality. And in the woods there are nameless creatures who patiently await the return of their creator.

I'm dumbfounded. Truly. This is the same author that wrote Every Shallow Cut? Really? I'm pretty sure someone is pulling my leg. Can't be the same guy. This book is such a mish-mash of...well, I'm not really sure what it is. Except nothing I enjoyed, that's for sure.

Yes, I finished it. I have no earthly idea why I kept reading, unless I thought at some point that it would make sense. In a way, the book is very much like a nightmare: you're not entirely sure what's happening at any given moment, and even when it's over, you find yourself asking what the hell just happened. I suppose in that sense the book works. Still, very frustrating to read some 300 pages and have no more idea of the plot than when you started.

None of the characters are particularly sympathetic, either. Sorry, just couldn't root for anyone, the real ones or the imaginary characters (at least, I think they were imaginary - again, no real direction on that). If they had all died in the end, I might have actually jumped for joy.

Hopefully the next book of Piccirilli's I pick up will be better. I'd hate to think Every Shallow Cut was his only good one.